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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

58                                 LIFE  OF
Huxnboldt's investigating mind found rich food for
its inquiries on this excursion.     What a common tra-
veller would only have enjoyed with tho «enwoH,  or
overlooked as a solitary object., oradinmnl MI, 2><t*wWM'C
as a strange phenomenon, or collected it an a ourioHity,
that was for Humboldt the connected part of a ^roa,t;
whole which his mental eye comprehended.    Tho un-
common things he found here ho wan Ihjijuontly able
to explain from his European experiences;  what mt
Europe had been unintelligible, he' oxplainod hero hi
the tropical world from the similarity of common lawn
and causes.    His geological stttdiow found a rich tmi-
terial in the neighbourhood of the village off Aufcimatio;
his perseverance under privations wan again pro vail
by his having to spend tho night in a sugar plantation
on a skin on the ground, among- noisy nogrootf, and
yet he climbed the mountains again at Bumiso,   "Whmi
he descended from the high mountain ridge westward,
into the valley of the little village San Pedro, and
heard the Europeans, placed here for the Btiperinttuid*
ance of the cultivation of tobacco, utter complaints
and imprecations on tho accursed land in which thoy
were forced to live, when he was quite inspired by the
wild beauty of the place, its mild climate and tortile
soil, he must have felt vividly that nature only reveals*
her charms to him who understands and appreciates
her.
In the month of February, 1S003 his path Jay
through the valleys of the Txiy? where he directed his
attention to the sugar plantations of Manterola, to tho
gold vein-, to the corn-fields (on which a tweu fcyfold
harvest is considered a moderate return), to tho 'cele-
brated zamang-trees., with their gigantic branch OH, to
the colonies in Hacienda de Oura? where ho entered
for several days into the mode of life of a wealthy in-
habitant, taking two baths,, three meals, and three
sleeps in twenty-four hours; finally, to the cotton
plantations near Cura, and to farming in general*
Then he arrived at the sea of Valencia,, where, among
the productions of a foreign nature, he was reminded